Inaugural Launch of the Displaced Journalists Initiative

The Displaced Journalists Initiative was launched this week by Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) and Doughty Street Chambers.

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, almost 40% of media outlets have been forced to shut, and 60% of journalists have lost their jobs or fled, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Afghanistan has descended into crisis, and journalism and press freedom has been “decimated”. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan reported that journalists have increasingly been subject to surveillance, intimidation, threats, violence, arrest, detention, torture and death. These risks are acknowledged in Home Office policy.

In response, Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) and  Doughty Street Chambers, launched the Displaced Journalists initiative.

TBB is a global non-profit organisation working to connect skilled refugees such as journalists with employers through labour mobility pathways.  In the UK, TBB developed the Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot, in collaboration with the UK Government. This enables priority processing of skilled worker visas and safeguards and support for talented workers.

The Displaced Journalist Initiative seeks to support employers and organisations wishing to recruit talented displaced journalists with protection needs to relocate to safety with their families.

The profiles of a group of Afghan journalists, at grave risk because of their work, were highlighted. These are the brightest and bravest and exceptional candidates for this initiative.

The initiative seeks to summon media freedom, news, communications, and other organisations in a position to hire journalists and lift them out of precarious situations. By so doing it can promote journalist safety and media freedom, and increase diversity within media and communications communities.

The initiative launch was led by  Holly Asquith, Head of UK Programmes at TBB and Catherine Meredith, barrister, Doughty Street Chambers.

To discuss the Displaced Journalist Initiative and opportunities, in person or remotely, or for further information, please contact:

Catherine Meredith, barrister, Doughty Street Chambers